Article

Interference between Elementally Trained Stimuli Can Take Place in One Trial

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Abstract

Recent research has shown that the acquisition of a second cue–outcome association can interfere with responding appropriate to a previously acquired association between another cue and the same outcome, even if the two cues had never received compound training (Matute & Pineño, 1998a). This is similar to other results in the paired-associate literature but it is problematic for associative theories of learning because all of them assume that compound training is necessary for cues to interfere with each other. However, given several assumptions, a recent revision of Wagner's (1981) SOP model proposed by Dickinson and Burke (1996) could account for most of the data available on interference between elementally trained cues. According to the modified SOP model, the target cue that is paired with the outcome during Phase 1 could acquire an inhibitory association with the outcome during the Phase 2 trials in which the interfering cue is trained and the target cue is absent. This inhibitory association could be responsible for the weak responding observed to the target cue during testing because it could interfere with the excitatory association acquired during Phase 1. If this is true, interference should be weaker as the number of Phase 2 interfering trials is reduced. However, the three experiments reported here show that interference can occur even when only one interfering trial is given during Phase 2. The results of these experiments, along with other results in the literature, add support to the idea that interference between elementally trained cues occurs during retrieval and that it is not due to the formation of inhibitory associations between an absent cue and the outcome.

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... Rather than depending on the context during which the original training of A-US, B occurred, interference was found when the second phase of training (C-US, D) and the test stage were conducted in the same context, but not if they occurred in different contexts. Moreover, Ortega and Matute (2000) found interference after only one trial of C-US, a number of trials regarded as too small to permit the development of inhibitory associations (Wagner, 1981). Ortega and Matute interpreted the interference effect as reflecting a problem in the retrieval of information learned during training rather than reflecting the effect of inhibitory learning during the interference training. ...
... The presentation of a single miscuing trial reduced the predictive value of A as evidenced by reduced US expectancy and increased probe reaction time during A and enhanced electrodermal responding to the US on the A-US test trial. As shown by Ortega and Matute (2000), miscuing cannot be explained as an effect of blocking by context as one presentation of the US alone after conditioning did not interfere with suppression of bar pressing to A. Similar to the interference effect, miscuing is not within the scope of any contemporary theory of associative learning. Lipp et al. (1993) discussed the option that rule-based accounts such as the ones discussed by Herrnstein (1990) might explain US miscuing. ...
... Moreover, in previous studies, there were a number of procedural differences, in that, for instance, miscuing was observed after one miscuing trial whereas several presentations of the second predictive stimulus were employed in the assessment of the interference effect. These procedural differences were less evident in a study by Ortega and Matute (2000) who, using the Martian task, found miscuing and interference after a single treatment trial. Pointing to the similarities of the behavioural changes observed in the two procedures, the authors concluded that miscuing may be a special case of the more general interference effect. ...
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The present series of experiments was designed to assess whether rule-based accounts of Pavlovian learning can account for cue competition effects observed after elemental training. All experiments involved initial differential conditioning training with A-US and B alone presentations. Miscuing refers to the fact that responding to A is impaired after one B-US presentation whereas interference is the impairment of responding to A after presentation of C-US pairings. Omission refers to the effects on B of A alone presentations. Experiments 1-2a provided clear evidence for miscuing whereas interference was not found after 1, 5 or 10 C-US pairings. Moreover, Experiments 3 and 3a found only weak evidence for interference in an A-US, B I C-US, D I A design used previously to show the effect. Experiments 4 and 5 failed to find any effect of US omission after one or five omission trials. The present results indicate that miscuing is more robust than is the interference effect. Moreover, the asymmetrical effects of US miscuing and US omission are difficult to accommodate within rule-based accounts of Pavlovian conditioning. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
... 3 Interference between cues has also been found without the use of different physical contexts or contextual cues to help participants differentiate between the two subsequent training phases (see, for example, Escobar et al., 2002). Based on this evidence, some authors have claimed that interference between cues could be explained by recency of the competing B-O1 association at the time of test (Ortega & Matute, 2000; Pineño et al., 2000). However, these results are also consistent with stating that the temporal context at the time of test, which is more similar to the temporal context of Phase 2 than to the temporal context of Phase 1, is priming the competing B-O1 over the A-O1 association. ...
... This is an interesting result because interference between cues has shown to be somewhat elusive. For example, Lipp and Dal Santo (2002) have reported several failures to observe interference between cues even when using a task that had produced interference before (Ortega & Matute, 2000). It remains to be shown, however, what the role of causal order is in inducing the interference effect. ...
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In an interference-between-cues design, the expression of a learned Cue A --> Outcome 1 association has been shown to be impaired if another cue, B, is separately paired with the same outcome in a second learning phase. In the present study, we assessed whether this interference effect is mediated by participants' previous causal knowledge. This was achieved by having participants learn in a diagnostic situation in Experiment 1a, and then by manipulating the causal order of the learning task in Experiments 1b and 2. If participants use their previous causal knowledge during the learning process, interference should only be observed in the diagnostic situation because only there we have a common cause (Outcome 1) of two disjoint effects, namely cues A and B. Consistent with this prediction, interference between cues was only found in Experiment 1a and in the diagnostic conditions of Experiments 1b and 2.
... Matute, & Miller, 2001) and humans (e.g., Matute & Pineño, 1998a, 1998b; Ortega & Matute, 2000; Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000) has shown that interference effects can occur between elementally-trained cues, that is, between cues that have never received compound training. The original finding comes from Matute and Pineño's (1998b) studies of predictive learning with humans. ...
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The impairment in responding to a secondly trained association because of the prior training of another (i.e., proactive interference) is a well-established effect in human and animal research, and it has been demonstrated in many paradigms. However, learning theories have been concerned with proactive interference only when the competing stimuli have been presented in compound at some moment of the training phase. In this experiment we investigated the possibility of proactive interference between elementally-trained stimuli at the acquisition and at the retrieval stages in a behav-ioral task with humans. After training a cue-outcome association we observed retardation in the acquisition of an association between another cue and the same outcome. Moreover, after asymptotic acquisition of the secondly trained association, impairment of retrieval of this secondly trained association was also observed. This finding of proactive interference between elementally-trained cues suggests that interference in predictive learning and other traditional interference effects could be integrated into a common framework.
... This account may also be applied to some retroactive cue interference preparations that do not control for the presentation of the outcome (e.g. Luque, Morís, Orgaz, Cobos, & Lopez, 2009;Ortega & Matute, 2000). Here (without unsignaled Os in Phase 2), during an A-O presentation the O might evoke an expectation of X (based on the X-O association from Phase 1), thereby decreasing the associative status of X according to these models. ...
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Two fear-conditioning experiments with rats assessed whether retrospective revaluation, which has been observed in cue competition (i.e., when compounded cues are followed with an outcome), can also be observed in retroactive cue interference (i.e., when different cues are reinforced in separate phases with the same outcome). Experiment 1 found that after inducing retroactive cue interference (i.e., X-outcome followed by A-outcome), nonreinforced presentations of the interfering cue (A) decreases interference with responding to the target cue (X), just as has been observed in retrospective revaluation experiments in cue competition. Using the opposite manipulation (i.e., adding reinforced presentations of A), Experiment 2 demonstrated that after inducing retroactive cue interference, additional reinforced presentations of the interfering cue (A) increases interference with responding to the target cue (X); alternatively stated, the amount of interference increases with the amount of training with the interfering cue. Thus, both types of retrospective revaluation occur in retroactive cue competition. The results are discussed in terms of the possibility that similar associative mechanisms underlie cue competition and cue interference.
... The effects of the omission of expected US presentations on elementary and compound trained stimuli has received attention in prior research with humans (e.g., Lipp & Dal Santo, 2002;Matute & Pineño, 1998;Ortega & Matute, 2000;Pineño & Matute, 2000). Indeed, Lipp and Dal Santo (2002, Experiment 4) used the same conditioned suppression task as used in the present research and presented acquisition trials of CS+ and US pairings and CS-alone presentations. ...
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Three experiments examined the effects of physical context changes and multiple extinction contexts on the renewal of conditioned suppression in humans. A conditioned suppression task used an undesirable event as the unconditional stimulus (US). One conditional stimulus (CS+) predicted the occurrence of the US and another (CS−) predicted US absence. In Experiment 1 (N = 32), conditioned suppression was acquired to the CS+ in one context and extinguished in a different context. An increase in suppression was found for the CS+ and not for the CS− when subsequent test trials were conducted in the acquisition context (ABA renewal). Experiment 2 (N = 32) tested for ABC Renewal and showed increased suppression to both the CS+ and CS− when test was conducted in a novel context. Experiment 3 (N = 80) showed that these two effects were abolished when extinction was conducted in multiple contexts. The experiments extend the ABA renewal of conditioned suppression found with non-human animal subjects and the reduction of renewal by extinction in multiple contexts. Context changes may also facilitate cue competition effects after training with elementary stimuli, as shown by the effects of US omission in the ABA and ABC renewal groups.
... , X, if a series of X–O pairings intermixed with A–no-O trials are followed by one or more A–O trials (Lipp & Dal Santo, in press; Lipp, Siddle , & Dall, 1993; Ortega & Matute, 2000 ...
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In this article I review research and theory on the "interference paradigms" in Pavlovian learning. In these situations (e.g., extinction, counterconditioning, and latent inhibition), a conditioned stimulus (CS) is associated with different unconditioned stimuli (USs) or outcomes in different phases of the experiment; retroactive interference, proactive interference, or both are often observed. In all of the paradigms, contextual stimuli influence performance, and when information is available, so does the passage of time. Memories of both phases are retained, and performance may depend on which is retrieved. Despite the similarity of the paradigms, conditioning theories tend to explain them with separate mechanisms. They also do not provide an adequate account of the context's role, fail to predict the effects of time, and overemphasize the role of learning or storage deficits. By accepting 4 propositions about animal memory (i.e., contextual stimuli guide retrieval, time is a context, different memories are differentially dependent on context, and interference occurs at performance output), a memory retrieval framework can provide an integrated account of context, time, and performance in the various paradigms.
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Three experiments investigated whether a process akin to L. J. Kamin's (1969) blocking effect would occur with human contingency judgments in the context of a video game. 102 students were presented with sets of trials on each of which they could perform a particular action and observe whether the action produced a particular outcome in a situation in which there was an alternative potential cause of the outcome. Exp I showed that prior observation of the relationship between the alternative cause and the outcome did indeed block or reduce learning about the subsequent action-outcome relationship. However, exposure to the relationship between the alternative cause and the outcome after observing the association between the action and the outcome also reduced judgments of the action-outcome contingency (backward blocking), a finding at variance with conditioning theory. In Exp II, it was found that the degree of backward blocking depended on the predictive value of the alternative cause. Finally, Exp III showed that the backward blocking effect was not the result of greater forgetting about the action-outcome relationship in the experimental than in the control condition. Results cast doubt upon the applicability of contemporary theories of conditioning to human contingency judgment.
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Reports 3 experiments with a total of 312 undergraduates which studied interference effects operating on forward and backward associations. Evidence was found for direct and indirect interference in 4 transfer paradigms (A-B, A-D; A-B, C-B; A-B, D-A; and A-B, B-C). The failure of previous studies to find indirect interference is attributed to the use of a high degree of original learning. The difficulty of the principle of associative symmetry to accommodate certain outcomes of the 3 experiments is discussed. (20 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Retrospective revaluation of causal judgments was investigated in a 2-stage procedure. In the 1st stage, compounds of 2 cues were associated with the outcome, whereas in the 2nd stage, a cue from each compound was trained by itself. Associating this cue with the outcome in the 2nd stage had no detectable effect on the causal rating of the other cue from the compound, whereas presenting it without the outcome enhanced the causal rating of the other cue. The retrospective revaluation of the causal rating of these productive cues and also of preventative cues depended on consistent pairing of the cues during compound training, suggesting a role for within-compound associations. These results favor associative accounts of retrospective revaluation that use separate excitatory and inhibitory learning processes rather than a general error-correcting learning algorithm. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Preexposure to two compound flavors (AX and BX) typically enhances their discriminability: An aversion conditioned to AX will generalize less to BX, especially if the preexposure regime has involved alternated presentations of AX and BX rather than presenting all AX trials before BX trials (or vice versa). One possible explanation of this finding is that alternating preexposure establishes inhibitory associations between the two unique features A and B, thus counteracting the generalization produced by excitatory associations between X and A and between X and B, which might result in either the retrieval of B on a conditioning trial to AX, or the retrieval of A on a test trial to BX. Three experiments on flavor aversion conditioning in rats tested these predictions. Experiment 1 suggested that the more important of these excitatory associations was that which allowed X to retrieve A on the test trial to BX. Experiment 2 suggested that the more important inhibitory association was that which allowed B to inhibit the representation of A on this test trial. Experiment 3 provided direct evidence of the role of this inhibitory B⊣A association.
Article
In Exp. I, two transfer paradigms (A-B, C-B and A-B, C-D) were combined factorially with two levels of relearning direction (A-B and B-A), and an S-R matching task was used during relearning. Relearning performance was affected only by transfer paradigm (p < .05); the C-B paradigm was conducive to RI, the magnitude of which was independent of relearning direction. C-B interpolated learning tended to be enhanced on initial trials owing to positive transfer of response learning, but retarded on later trials owing to bidirectional negative transfer of associative learning. Experiment II eliminated the positive transfer effect by employing an S-R matching task during transfer; as a result, the negative transfer effect was more pronounced and was evident on initial trials. The data support the concept of associative symmetry and Martin's (1965) multistage analysis of transfer.
Article
Three experiments are reported in which conditioned lick suppression by water-deprived rats was used as an index of associative strength. In Experiment 1, overshadowing of a light by a tone was observed when the light-tone compound stimulus was paired with foot shock. After initial compound pairings, the tone-shock association was extinguished in one group of subjects. Subsequently, these animals demonstrated significantly higher levels of suppression to the light relative to a control group in which the tone had not been extinguished. Experiment 2 replicated this effect while failing to find evidence to support the possibilities that extinction presentations of the overshadowing tone act as retrieval cues for the light-shock association, or that, via second-order conditioning, the light-shock association is actually formed during extinction of the tone. Experiment 3 determined that the recovery from overshadowing observed in Experiments 1 and 2 was specific to the extinction of the overshadowing stimulus rather than the extinction of any excitatory cue. Collectively, these results suggest that the debilitated response to an overshadowed stimulus does not represent an acquisition failure, but rather the failure of an acquired association to be manifest in behavior.
Article
Matute and Pineño (1998a) showed evidence of interference between elementally trained cues and suggested that this effect occurs when the interfering association is more strongly activated than the target association at the time of testing. The present experiments tested directly the role of the relative activation of the associations in the effect of interference between elementally trained cues. In three human experiments we manipulated the relative activation of the interfering and target associations in three different ways: (a) introducing a retention interval between training of the interfering association and the test trial (Experiment 1); (b) training the target and the interfering associations in a single phase, instead of training them in separate phases (Experiment 2); and (c) introducing, just before testing, a novel cue which, like the retention interval used in Experiment 1, had the purpose of separating the interfering trials from the test trial (Experiment 3). All three manipulations led to an enhancement of responding to the target association at testing, suggesting that they were effective in preventing the interfering association from being the most strongly activated one at the time of testing. Taken together, these results add further evidence on how the relative activation of associations modulates interference between elementally trained cues.
Article
Typescript. Vita. Thesis (M.A.)--West Virginia University, 1967. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 19-22).
Article
The present research investigated the effects of miscuing a shock stimulus on dishabituation of the skin conductance response and on the allocation of processing resources. In both experiments, a control group received 21 S1-S2 pairings intermixed with 23 S3-alone presentations. For the experimental group, S2 was miscued on trials 11 and 22 by its presentation following S3. In Experiment 1 (N = 48), S2 was a shock that was either "clearly discernible" or "uncomfortable but not painful". The results indicated increased electrodermal responding when S2 was miscued by S3 and subsequent dishabituation when S2 again followed S1 on the next trial. Miscuing produced dishabituation with both a high- and low-shock S2. A continuous measure of S2 expectancy revealed that expectancy of S2 in the presence of S1 declined as a result of miscuing. Experiment 2 (N = 36) employed reaction time to a white noise probe stimulus as the dependent variable. The critical data came from probes presented 300 ms following S2 onset on the S1-S2 trial immediately following miscuing. They indicated that miscuing produced slowed reaction time to probes presented during S2 on the following S1-S2 trial. Thus, the miscuing of S2 by S3 appears to result in an increase in processing resources devoted to S2, even when S2 is presented in its usual position following S1. The results are discussed in terms of current theories of associative learning.
Article
The present research investigated the effects of stimulus miscuing on electrodermal responding, dishabituation, stimulus expectancy, and the allocation of processing resources as assessed by reaction time to a secondary task probe stimulus. In both experiments, a control group received 33 S1-S2 pairings intermixed with 33 S3-alone presentations. For the experimental group, S2 was miscued by its presentation following S3 on 4 trials. Experiment 1 (N = 24) demonstrated reliable electrodermal responding when S2 was miscued by S3 and subsequent dishabituation when S2 was re-presented following S1 on the next trial. A continuous measure of S2 expectancy revealed that S2 was not expected to follow S3 on miscuing trials. On re-presentation trials, S2 was not expected to follow S1. Experiment 2 (N = 24) employed probe reaction time as the dependent variable. White noise probe stimuli of 500-ms duration were presented 300 ms following the onset of S2 on miscued trials and on re-presentation trials. Reaction time to probes presented during miscued presentations of S2 was slower in the experimental group than in the control group. Reaction time on S2 re-presentation trials was also slower in the experimental group than in the control group. The results are interpreted to indicate that both the miscuing of S2 by S3 and its re-presentation following S1 on the next trial command processing resources. The results are discussed in terms of current theories of associative learning.
Article
SS WERE 70 UNDERGRADUATES. RETROACTIVE INHIBITION (RI) WAS ASSESSED AFTER 5 OR 20 LIST-2 LEARNING TRIALS. THE RESULTS REPLICATED PREVIOUS FINDINGS WITH THE A-B, C-B PARADIGM WHICH INDICATED THAT RECALL OF LIST-1 RESPONSE-STIMULUS (R-S) ASSOCIATIONS WAS A DECREASING FUNCTION OF THE DEGREE OF PRACTICE ON LIST 2. PARALLEL RESULTS WERE FOUND WITH THE A-B, B-C PARADIGM, SUPPORTING AN ASSUMPTION THAT INTERFERENCE EFFECTS IN THIS PARADIGM ARE A FUNCTION OF COMPETITION BETWEEN LIST-1 R-S AND LIST-2 S-R ASSOCIATIONS. ESSENTIALLY IDENTICAL RI WAS FOUND UNDER BOTH PARADIGMS. WHEN COMPARED TO A CONTROL GROUP, WITHOUT LIST-2 PRACTICE, IT WAS FOUND THAT STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT RI OCCURRED AFTER EITHER 5 OR 20 LIST-2 TRIALS UNDER BOTH PARADIGMS.
Article
Part 1 of this discussion summarizes several formal models of exicitatory classical conditioning. It is suggested that a central problem for all of them is the explanation of cases in which learning does not occur in spite of the fact that the CS is a signal for the reinforcer. A new model is proposed that deals with this problem by specifying that certain procedures cause a CS to lose effectiveness; in particular, it is argued that a CS will lose associability when its consequences are accurately predicted. In contrast to other current models, the effectiveness of the reinforcer remains constant throughout conditioning. Part 2 presents a reformulation of the nature of the learning produced by inhibitory-conditioning procedures and a discussion of the way in which such learning can be accommodated within the model outlined for excitatory learning. (47 ref)
Article
In this article I review research and theory on the "interference paradigms" in Pavlovian learning. In these situations (e.g., extinction, counterconditioning, and latent inhibition), a conditioned stimulus (CS) is associated with different unconditioned stimuli (USs) or outcomes in different phases of the experiment; retroactive interference, proactive interference, or both are often observed. In all of the paradigms, contextual stimuli influence performance, and when information is available, so does the passage of time. Memories of both phases are retained, and performance may depend on which is retrieved. Despite the similarity of the paradigms, conditioning theories tend to explain them with separate mechanisms. They also do not provide an adequate account of the context's role, fail to predict the effects of time, and overemphasize the role of learning or storage deficits. By accepting 4 propositions about animal memory (i.e., contextual stimuli guide retrieval, time is a context, different memories are differentially dependent on context, and interference occurs at performance output), a memory retrieval framework can provide an integrated account of context, time, and performance in the various paradigms.
Article
The role of within-compound associations in the retrospective revaluation of causality judgements was investigated in a two-stage procedure in which the subjects were asked to learn whether or not different food stimuli caused an allergic reaction in hypothetical patients. In the compound-cue stage a number of compound cues, each consisting of a competing stimulus and a target stimulus, were associated with the reaction across a series of trials, whereas in the single-cue stage the subjects had the opportunity to learn which of the competing cues, when presented alone, caused the reaction. Each target stimulus was presented with the same competing cue across all compound trials in the consistent condition, but with a different competing cue on each trial in the varied condition. In a forward procedure, in which the single-cue stage preceded compound cue training, judgements of the causal effectiveness of the target stimuli were reduced or blocked by training them in compound with a competing cue that had been previously paired with the reaction. Moreover, the magnitude of this reduction was comparable in the consistent and varied conditions. This was not true, however, when the single- and compound-cue stages were reversed in the backward procedure. Judgements for target cues compounded with competing cues that were subsequently paired with the reaction were reduced only in the consistent condition. If it is assumed that stronger associations were formed between the competing and target stimuli during the compound-cue stage in the consistent condition than in the varied condition, this pattern suggests that the retrospective revaluation of causality judgements can be mediated by the formation of within-compound associations.
Article
We replicated and extended a project by Dickinson and Burke (1996) that concerned human causal judgement. In a medical diagnostic setting, college students' ratings of the causal efficacy of target cues showed retrospective revaluation: relative to a proper control condition, ratings of target cues both increased ("recovery from overshadowing") and decreased ("backward blocking") during a second stage of training in which competing cues, but not target cues, were presented. These changes in causal judgements were exhibited only by subjects who had learned which target and competing cues were paired with one another during the first stage of training. These results cannot be explained by the Rescorla-Wagner (1972) model of associative learning, but they can be explained by the revised model of Van Hamme and Wasserman (1994); the revised model assigns non-zero salience to non-presented target stimuli whose memories or representations are retrieved by competing stimuli that had previously been paired with those target stimuli.
A parametric study of inhibition in a behavioral preparation with humans. XI Meeting of the Spanish Society of Comparative Psychology
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Associative accounts of causality judgment The psychology of learning and motivation Stimulus miscuing and dishabitua-tion: Electrodermal activity and resources allocation
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